Patio season is upon us at last, and we can already feel Toronto coming out of hibernation and into a sizzling hot summer.

City dwellers, you know the drill: Call up your patio posse to celebrate the season’s arrival in true Toronto style by dining al fresco with citrusy aperitifs in hand and several plates en route. Ahead, we present six new and loved local patios to book this summer.

Paros

 

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The details: New to the city, Paros is more than a restaurant—it’s an “Aegean experience.” If you find yourself on a stroll through the cobblestone streets of Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood this summer, stop by this upscale spot for traditional Greek dishes that pair swimmingly with their cocktail, wine and beer offerings.

The vibe: The patio at Paros is an Instagram-worthy space trimmed by fuschia bougainvillea and grand Mediterranean arches. Nestled on Old York Lane, it’s the perfect place to kick your feet up, take a shopping break and cool off with a Grecian beverage.

The menu: The mezzedes (small plates) on the dinner menu are a must-have for patio dining at Paros. From the marinated olives ($10) and the flaming saganaki ($22) to the kalamari ($25) and zucchini chips ($18), you’ll fill up on these flavours of Greece in no time. To drink, try the Hades Paloma ($27) flavoured with Casamigos mezcal, Casamigos blanco, honey bee elixir, jalapeño, lime, and grapefruit for a sip that tastes like summer.

119 Yorkville Ave, parosyorkille.com

Miss Likklemores

 

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The details: In many ways, Toronto’s culture has been heavily influenced by the islands of the Caribbean—and the food is no exception. Miss Likklemore’s is the pandemic pop-up turned full-on dining experience serving up Caribbean-inspired cuisine you simply must taste. Led by celebrity and Executive Chef Lonie Murdock, you’ll find some of the city’s most colourful and flavourful eats here.

The vibe: Inside Miss Likklemore’s, the exposed brick walls, vibrant artwork and jewel-toned couches set a cozy yet contemporary mood. Outside, the King West patio will soon make for a prime people-watching location on the buzzy Toronto street. And, if you keep your eyes peeled, you may even spot a celebrity or two (hello, Winnie Harlow!)

The menu: Including Caribbean classics like fried snapper (mp), Miss Edna’s jerk chicken ($35 for half, $65 for whole) and slow-braised oxtail ($65), the family-style section of Miss Likklemore’s dinner menu makes ordering for larger groups a cinch. Wash it all down with the Bacardi spiced rum, lemon and lime juice-infused Likklemore’s Punch ($18), and be sure to save some room for the rum raisin ice cream ($8) for dessert.

433 King St. W, misslikklemores.com

Daphne

 

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The details: Situated in Toronto’s Financial District, Daphne is a new modern American restaurant brought to you by INK Entertainment Group—from whom you may also recognize other local restaurants like Akira Back, Amal, and Kōst. If you believe your “phone eats first,” you’ll love snapping photos of their exquisitely plated dishes.

The vibe: Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the word ‘patio’ hardly does Daphne’s outdoor dining space justice. It’s a picturesque garden terrace illuminated by the sun during the day, and enchanting lights at night. The bougie marble tables and yellow-striped seating make you feel miles away from the city centre.

The menu: Book weekend brunch at Daphne and order the ricotta toast ($18) topped with blood orange and stone fruit or the signature Daphne Breakfast ($26) which includes a full plate of two eggs, Ibérico and cranberry sausage, charred tomatoes, hashbrowns and sourdough bread. For dinner, try one of the wood-grilled steaks, or go casual with a pizza in a flavour of your choice from classic pepperoni ($33) to black truffle ($36). If you can do dessert, indulge in the seasonally flavoured sorbet trio ($12) for a sweet treat.

67 Richmond St. W, daphnetoronto.com

Grape Witches

Grape Witches

The details: A natural wine shop with a bar and patio, Grape Witches is a cutesy hot spot serving the Dundas West community. And, since getting its start in 2015, it has also grown into a coveted event space, a wine-importing agency, and a wine club that curates customized monthly wine boxes for vino enthusiasts.

The vibe: Grape Witches has just unveiled their upgraded patio this month, and the vibes are, indeed, immaculate. Seating 70, the new space feels like a lush break from Toronto with its overgrown greenery, artwork by Toronto’s Laura Dawe, and a functional fountain at its centre. Plus, when the weather isn’t ideal, a retractable shade structure has got you covered so you can stay put.

The menu: It should go without saying that ordering the wine here is absolutely necessary. Every week, the wine menu will explore a different producer, region, group, or style to keep things exciting, while expert Gourmand Ellen Shrybman (of Piquette and Parasol Wine) puts together delicious side dishes like cheese plates ($26) and crudité with taramosalata ($16).

1247 Dundas St. W, grapewitches.com

Prime Seafood Palace

The details: Celebrity chef, Canadian treasure and actor (you’ve seen him in The Bear!) Matty Matheson is the mastermind behind the Michelin-approved Prime Seafood Palace. This swanky steakhouse serves beef, vegetables and, as you may have guessed, seafood—all sourced from mindfully selected purveyors.

The vibe: If you can turn your attention away from the restaurant’s brilliantly designed interior by Omar Gandhi with its maple wood-lined backdrop and divine lighting, a private courtyard awaits. There, pull up a chair at the bistro-style tables and keep cool under the cover of shady patio umbrellas when the weather permits.

The menu: A caviar bite and champagne ($50), anyone? For a surf-and-turf-type dining experience, start off with something like the tuna tartare ($34) served with spicy black bean, daikon and shrimp crackers or the creamed clams ($23) followed by the 9oz black pepper crust filet mignon with au poivre sauce ($115) or the impressive 8oz A5 wagyu ($245).

944 Queen St. W, primeseafoodpalace.ca

Henry’s

 

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The details: For an evening of casual fine dining, pop over to Henry’s restaurant and wine bar. Emphasizing an ingredient-focused and internationally-inspired food menu as well as a selection of wines sourced from classic regions and cross-generational families, this Michelin resto is where you want to wine and dine this summer.

The vibe: Two words: modern and minimal. The main dining room feels fresh and airy with a dash of sophistication, tying that signature Henry’s shade of green into all the little details from the menu to the cushioned seats. Out back on the closed-in patio, a verdant canopy of leaves surrounds the space while string lights twinkle overhead.

The menu: Like the seasons, the Henry’s menu is constantly evolving. At present, we suggest snacking on a plate of mushroom croquettes ($12) with garlic aioli and manchego, with a kale radicchio salad ($22) on the side. For your mains, try one of the pasta plates like the mezzi rigatoni ($24) with creamy burrata and Sicilian pistachio pesto, or the mouthwatering lobster linguine ($45). Lastly, cheers to a scrumptious summer night’s dinner with a glass of wine. Will that be white, or red?

920-922 Queen St. W, henrystoronto.ca